Am I A Snob?
As I waited for my flight in the Philadelphia airport I looked around. After all, these were the people I’d be spending the next five hours with in a tin can soaring across the sky. How do you not sit at the gate, looking around to check out who you may or may not be sitting next to? How do you not hope that it won’t be the guy who is so enormous, he’ll surely take up an entire row himself? How do you not see the woman with the two year old running around the gate out of control and not hope that you don’t get seated next to them? How do you not say a small prayer that the people who have just bought so much smelly food you’d think they were stacking the shelves of their bomb shelter will be sitting at the other end of the plane? Am I a snob? – Don’t Get Me Started!
On the whole I try to be as tolerant of people as I’d like them to be of me. But there I was, sitting at the gate at the airport and I knew I was in trouble. First of all, the whole USAir, let me charge you $15 for just about everything yet let us have the oldest, dirtiest planes in the world experience was enough to make my skin begin to crawl but one look around and you suddenly discover just why this was the cheapest flight at the last minute. Even with paying my $15 for a “premium choice seat” I was in the group that would be boarding the plane last. This is always a problem because let’s face it; people are animals when it comes to the overhead bin space. And so it would come to pass that although I was in row eleven, I was the last one to board the plane (convinced that I was the only one in boarding “zone” 8). Before I even got into the plane they were telling everyone that there would be no more carryon luggage allowed unless it fit under your seat. Now can someone please explain to me just why someone who pays extra for a seat and is supposed to have premium seating should not have any space left over his head? I convinced the woman at the gate that the roller briefcase I had would indeed go under the seat and once I got in there I was right, of course this meant no legroom whatsoever. Now I’m short but I’m not THAT short!
As I settled in and tried not to think about five hours in this seat, it began. The row behind me was a family, an enormous woman, with her enormous husband and one of their enormous children. On the other side of the row, were the “in-laws” just as large as the others and another large child with his nose pressed against the glass. The mother behind me was one of those large women with an even larger voice. Her voice sounded like she had swallowed gravel with a broken glass chaser. She had no volume control and not only was she screaming at her husband but she was screaming at her son and everyone else on the plane it seemed. “I have enough magazines for the whole trip so don’t you worry. Here’s one with an article on tweens. I’m going to read it to you Brian so you know that I know what you’re going through and we can talk about it on the flight. What the fuck? This magazine is from last year. Ha. Screw this! Eddie, are you looking out the window over there? Tell Nana that I have some lip stuff from Avon if she needs it.” This ongoing monologue continued for the entire five hours. When they weren’t screaming at one another, they were playing some sort of Chinese fire drill where everyone would use the back of my seat to try and hoist their largeness out of their seat (complete with grabbing my hair) so that one of the kids or one of them could be at the window. This seemed to happen every twenty minutes like clockwork.
The large man in front of me had his seat so far leaned back that he was literally in my lap for the entire time. He was sitting sort of side saddle in his seat and would stand up in his seat whenever the woman behind me would scream to Brian that there was a mountain or clouds outside the window. Although he was on the aisle he would half-stand and lean over the people sitting next to him, trying to see out the window. He was loud and paid for a lot of cocktails and in between trying to talk to his wife several rows behind him, flirting with the flight attendant he would occasionally come out with such gems as, “Fuck, I can’t wait to get out of here and have a cigarette.”
So there I was, on the white trash express. I can’t help it. I know that some people would say, “Oh Scott, you just ran into some rude people.” but what I came across was like some strange convention of people who thought that the Jerry Springer show taped in Las Vegas or something. It was the longest five hours I’ve spent in a very long time and whether you think it’s judgmental or not I don’t care. For all the money you pay extra for some of these airlines it’s my thought that they should forget about the “premium seats” and just make it $25 to get out of the white trash rows. That I would have gladly paid. Am I a snob? – Don’t Get Me Started!
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- Some Like It Scott!
An acquired taste, like Tab cola, Some Like It Scott is one gay man's experiences with love, life and things that make him crazy, all done to a musical theatre soundtrack.